Monsoon and Collection Of Chaos


Monsoon is at the threshold and already the rain has generously filled the empty pockets of my city. In the midst of the chaos rain brings one can spot carts and carts of mangoes, lychees, jamuns, peaches, phalsa, musk melons, water melons and other summer fruits. The gorgeous Amaltas or Laburnum, dressed in yellow, is hard to miss.
The parakeets are here and so is the familiar smell of earth, grass and flowers.
 I am thinking of wood roasted bhutta from the hills and hot jalebis filled with the sweet nectar of life. Usually a coffee person, I love  the adrakewali masala chai at this time espcially when it is infused wit hthe earthy aroma of the mitti ka kulhad.
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As I edit the second book of poems good news is still floating in from various parts of the globe with readers sending me their feedback and writing reviews for Collection Of Chaos.  I have come a long way since this book happened in 2014 and some very exciting news is coming soon that I will share soon. Here is my author page on Leaky Boot Press Website. Check out the other titles too.
Kabir Malik is a young poet, photographer, wanderer. This is what he says,
If you are fond of Urdu / Hindi poetry then you must listen to Tauseef Ahmed’s poems. He is brilliant and knows how to touch the pulse of the listeners. Many of his poems are on his FB timeline. Do explore. I gifted him the book some months back and here is what he says,
I must have mentioned the wanderer travel blogger BNomadic in some previous blog post. Travel enthusiasts Must checkout his blog. It is one the best I have come across till now.  He bought the book and wrote a review sometime back. He says,
Rebecca Behar is French Poet and writer and has been following my work since sometime. It was a pleasant surprise to find a short note from her on amazon.
The book recently traveled to Melbourne, Australia. Poet / Writer Jaymz Hawkes found me on FB and read some of my work there. I got a note from him saying he had ordered the book and here is his review. It took almost a month for the book to reach him. The waiting is always the part of the journey.
Thank you each one of you for the encouragement and support. There is nothing more humbling for a writer than her learning being appreciated. So much has changed in last two years and especially in last few months but that we will talk about in a different post soon.
Among all this euphoria I got bitten by Instagram bug. So, you can chitchat with me there too. I need to do write- edit- read – repeat but most of all I need some discipline in life especially as a writer. Soon… 🙂
Did I mention that my elder son got engaged in April? It was a beautiful Gurudwara ardas ceremony and the girl is one of a kind. Who knows where the time goes 🙂
It is a beautiful feeling to watch your children walk on their life path with such serenity and poise.
Motherhood has made me a better person and I always stress on this point, “Let your children be. You can’t teach a sapling how to grow; you can only give it all it needs, sit back and watch.” In doing so you are not just making them good citizens but most importantly better human beings; and in the end, that is all that matters.
I will be back soon with some poems and other writing news. Till then remember to connect with me and leave your views in the comment section of my posts.
Leaving you with someone I absolutely love and admire –  Every Word Has A Body And Soul 

Super Quick Two Ingredient Mango Ice Cream


Summer drips in mangoes in Delhi and there is nothing more refreshing than a quick guilt free mango ice cream. This full flavored recipe uses just two ingredients and is perfect dessert at any given time.

Ingredients : 

  • Ripe Mango – 1 Large or 2 Medium ( 1 1/2 cup of chunks)
  • Condensed Milk – 2 Tablespoon
  • Garnish – Basil leaves / Cardamom powder / mango slices

 

Steps :

  1. Wash , peel and dice mango in small cubes.
  2. Freeze the mango cubes layered on a plate or single baking sheet covered with parchment paper till completely solid. Over night is preferable or for 3-4 hours.
  3. Don’t put them all together in a boz or that one solid mass will be tough to break while blending. If you do then chisel it into small portions then put in the blender.
  4. In a blender jar add the frozen mango and pulse till it becomes crumbly.
  5. Pulse again till the fruit gets a creamy smooth texture. Scrap the sides of the jar to ensure no lumps remain. I sometimes leave the small pieces. They taste yum.
  6. Add the condensed milk at this stage and blend till the fruit and milk are incorporated nice and thick like a soft serve ice cream.
  7. At this stage you can scoop it in chilled bowls and eat as soft serve topped with little mango pieces.
  8. If you prefer firmer ice cream like texture then scoop it in a freezer proof bin and cover it nicely with a lid or cling wrap.
  9. After about an hour take it out and churn it in the blender . Do it a few times to make the ice cream creamier and smooth with no icicles.
  10. Serve the super delicious fruity sweet mango ice cream topped with mango cubes/ crushed cardamom, mint or basil sprig.

 

My Tip:Use fully ripe mangoes of any variety you like. The more ripe and fragrant the fruit the better ice cream you will get. Make this recipe vegan and dairy free by removing condensed milk and replacing it with fresh coconut cream or a frozen chopped banana. You can completely remove the ingredient two and turn this into a one ingredient mango ice cream and the result will amaze you.

Two Ingredients Chocolate Peanut Butter & Banana Ice Cream


I am big fan of anything peanut butter so while making the one ingredient banana ice cream I saved some for this delicious chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Guilt free, dairy free and vegan, this is the easiest breakfast dessert you can make. I used an organic chocolate PB but you can use a normal Homemade PB and chocolate chips too. Here is my recipe for Homemade PB

 

Ingredients : 

  • Frozen sliced ripe bananas – 4 medium size
  • Organic peanut chocolate butter – 3 tablespoon
  • Topping – Honey coated Popped amaranth/ Multi-grain Muesli

Steps :

  1. Cut and freeze bananas overnight. Make smaller pieces if your blender/processor is not heavy duty.
  2. In a jar place frozen bananas and blend till it gets to creamy aoft swirl consistency. It will take time to achieve this so be patient.
  3. If you find the blending hard then add a small non frozen ripe banana to the mix. It will help in smoothing the process.
  4. Keep scraping the sides to ensure the fruit blends evenly.
  5. Once the bananas come to a soft creamy ice cream consistency add the peanut butter. I used organic chocolate flavored but you can use chuny/ smooth plain, any kind.
  6. Blend again till the PB gets incorporated and the mixture is airy and creamy.
  7. You can serve this as a soft serve ice cream topped with buts or your favorite topping or spoon it in a freeze safe container and freeze for a few hours for a firmer texture.
  8. Once you achieve a firm ice cream , scoop it in cones or ice cream bowls and top with muesli/ popped amaranth/ chocolate shavings/ nut butter/ cinnamon powder/ chopped nuts/ roasted broken peanuts or any other thing you crave for.

My Tip:Always use ripe banana. Add at least one overripe banana for that sweetness and creamy texture. The fruit should have brown spots on the skin. Use any peanut butter. It won’t make any difference to the ice cream. Prefer Homemade or organic.

 

Healthy One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream


I stumbled upon this one ingredient ice cream while making the Yogurt smoothies. I usually freeze the fruits in zip lock bags and realized that this could be eaten as a fruit based ice cream too. I wonder if ice cream is a right word for this dessert but WTH, it is amazingly delicious. 100 % natural frozen banana ice cream is a perfect Paleo, Vegan, zero dairy, zero added sweetener alternative. Rich and creamy this is a marvelous guilt free treat. Add your favorite toppings or mix-in to make it more healthy and tasty. Later I found that internet is buzzing with the various one ingredient ice creams including the one made from bananas.  So the idea isn’t original.

Ingredients : 

  • Ripe Bananas – 6 large (Sliced & Frozen)
  • Desired Topping -Honey / Peanut Butter / Molasses /Walnuts /Raisins/Nuts/Spices

Steps : 

  1. Choose Bananas with brown spots. The riper they are the creamier and sweeter your ice cream will be.
  2. Slice them into coins or 1 inch pieces if your processor is strong.
  3. Put them in a zip lock bag or airtight freezer safe container and freeze till completely frozen. Preferably overnight.
  4. To make the one ingredient ice cream take out the frozen bananas and put them in the blender jar. If your processor is not strong add one non frozen banana for smooth blending.
  5. Pulse the frozen bananas till they turn crumbly. Keep blending to break them down completely.
  6. Scrap the sides of the jar with a spatula and keep blending. you will get a goey mixture in some time.
  7. Have patience and blend till you see the blended bananas turn into creamy rich soft serve like texture. Keep scraping the jar so there are no pieces.
  8. Give a few more rounds of blending to incorporate some air in the mixture. This will make the ice cream smoother and thicker.
  9. Once done, you can eat this fabulous creamy ice cream as a soft serve immediately or scoop it out in an airtight freezer safe container to make it more firmer like the traditional ice cream.
  10. After 2-3 hours of freezing scoop out the delicious creamy ice cream in bowls and serve with your favorite toppings. I used honey and peanut butter,
  11. Enjoy this guilt free ice cream any time the craving strikes.

My Tip:1. Use very ripe bananas or at least those which have some brown spots. They don’t look good but give a perfect sweet smooth ice cream. 2. Toppings are endless for this rich ice cream. Be creative. 3. You can add flavors of your choice to the basic ice cream and make it 2-3 ingredient ice cream if you wish. Add fruits, nut butters, condense milk, coconut cream, soy milk or anything that fancies you. I love it as it is.

Punjabi Kathal Masala | Punjabi Jackfruit Vegetable


Popularly known as “vegetarian’s meat’, this fibrous, starchy and fleshy fruit is one of my favorites.  From tender ones to the absolutely ripe ones Jackfruit is used in variety of dishes from sweet to savory. Even the juice of ripe jackfruit is dried and used to make dishes like fansache sandane.  It is even pickled and the kathal ka achar is one of the best things on earth. I had kathal ki biryani at a friend’s place and it tasted just like the mutton biryani though the hardcore non vegetarian would never call it a biryani for Biryani means rice and Meat. 🙂 Nothing can substitute it. Kathal is one of the many things especially cooked on Holi in UP.

Although in my house only tender baby kathal or slightly more matured one was used for vegetable or kababs I learned to cook the more mature fibrous one from my MIL. It was cooked mostly like meat. The recipe used all the spices used to cook meat. It was cooked on slow fire and given dum. ( the dum pic got deleted accidentally but I will upload it later)

I did variations whenever possible to make the best use of the meaty fruit. Achari kathal being one of them which is cooked exactly like murg achari.

I neither use very tender baby jackfruit nor the very fibrous mature one for this subzi. The jackfruit seeds, that look like chestnuts, should not be very tough to chew. I never liked their plastic like covering.

Note – Get the jackfruit peeled and cut by the vegetable vendor or apply some oil and use a sharp knife to cut. It secretes a sticky resin and things can get very messy if not done properly.

kathal

 

Ingredients – 

Green unripe kathal/jakfruit – 1/2 kg

Onion – 2 large

Potatoes – 2 medium size ( optional)

Tomatoes – 5-6 medium size

Ginger – 1 inch ( grated)

Garlic – 7-8 cloves ( grated)

Green chilies – 2-3 ( slit)

Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander Powder – 2 tablespoon

Turmeric / Haldi Powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Home made Garam Masala – 1/4 teaspoon

Amchur/ mango powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Asafoetida – 2 pinches

Cumin Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt – to taste

Mustard Oil for frying

Water – 1 cup

Chopped green coriander leaves – for garnish

Steps- 

  1. Peel and cut the kathal into 1 1/2 – 2 inch pieces. Make a cut in the seeds if there are large ones or they will burst while frying or slice them if they are not too stubborn). (Be careful with that) Wash and keep aside.
  2. Peel and cut potatoes ( if using) and place them in water.
  3. Heat Mustard oil in a kadhai  and bring it to smoking point, Keep the flame to medium now. ( Mustard oil gives the subzi a unique taste but you may use some other also)
  4. Deep fry the kathal pieces in small batches till they are golden brown but not darker than that. Fry the potatoes too.
  5. Drain the fried jackfruit and potatoes on to a kitchen towel or paper to remove excess oil.
  6. Chop the onions fine.
  7. Grate the tomatoes into a puree.
  8. Remove excess oil fro mthe kadhayi and keep about two tablespoon for making the masala for the sabzi.
  9. Add cumin seeds and when they splutter add hing/asafoetida.
  10. Add chopped onions and green chili.
  11. Fry till golden brown. ( Add a little salt to help in browning)
  12. Add ginger and garlic and fry them along with the onions.
  13. Add red chili and a little water to give that rich brown color to the masala.
  14. Let the mixture cook for a minute and then add  the grounded masalas and the remaining salt.
  15.  stir properly and fry till the oil separates. Keep flame low.
  16. Move the onion mix to a side of kadhayi and add tomato puree.
  17. Stir everything well and let it cook under cover for sometime. ( 5-10 min)
  18. Open the lid and add some of the chopped green coriander leaves. This gives the masala a very nice flavor.
  19.  keep stirring the masala till the water from tomatoes dries out and the masala starts to leave oil. It will become smooth in texture by now.
  20. Add kathal and potato pieces to the masala  and mix well so that the masala gets incorporated in each piece. Add a little water to help in the process.
  21.  cook it on medium high flame , stirring continuously so the vegetable pieces soak up all the fragrant masala.
  22. Add more water to make a thick gravy and cover to cook on slow flame.
  23. Keep checking for the pieces to become tender.
  24. The time depends on the quality of kathal. ( Took 45 mins)
  25. Once the pieces have become tender check for the salt and spices. Add more if required.
  26. The kathal masala can be a thick moist vegetable coated with the masala but dry or you can add some water to make it into a curry. Keep it as thick or thin as you wish.
  27. If you want to dum the vegetable then cover with lid and seal the lid with wheat flour dough so that the steam doesn’t escape.
  28. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes on very low heat then turn off the heat and carefully remove the seal.
  29. Spoon the aromatic punjabi kathal masala vegetable in a serving dish and garnish with the remaining green coriander leaves.
  30. Eat with layered paratha, phulka or rice.
  31. Serve some cooling raita, pickled carrots and sliced onions.

Tip – If you do not wish to fry the kathal and potatoes you can make this recipe with steamed or raw pieces also.

This is a slow cook recipe and a labor of love. Follow the steps and you will have a sumptuous vegetable.

My garam masala has nutmeg, cinnamon, bayleaf, javitri, big black cardamom, green cardamom, dry ginger, cumin, coriander etc. so I do not add khada masala or whole spices.

Some people  add two three tablespoons of thick curd in the masala instead of amchur/mango powder. I make dahiwala kathal as a separate dish.

Enjoy this delicious meaty vegetable while the fruit is still in season.